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Fall 1999



From the Department Head

At Virginia Tech and throughout the world, microelectronics technology is advancing through work in many disciplines, including electrical and computer engineering, materials science, chemical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, and physics.

Engineers and researchers in microelectronics find that they are working with collaborators from many other fields and backgrounds. Often, the boundaries between disciplines are blurred.

With this in mind, and in support of the growing microelectronics industry in Virginia, the department is collaborating with MSE, ISE, physics, and chemical engineering to expand Virginia Tech's microelectronics education and research programs. We are building what we expect will quickly become one of the country's top microelectronics programs.

Our comprehensive education and research program includes a diverse curriculum and vibrant research efforts that cross departmental and disciplinary boundaries. The enhanced curriculum is designed to lead interested students from several different disciplines into a concentration in microelectronics - and to include a significant level of undergraduate research.

All of our electrical and computer engineering students will gain experience in semiconductor processing and device characterization. Moreover, enhanced facilities and opportunities for our advanced undergraduate and graduate students capitalize on the diversity of our faculty and soon will include state-of-the-art processing and characterization equipment.

As described on page four, we are in the process of building new laboratories and clean rooms to support this effort. We are also adding strong, motivated faculty members to our program. This summer, Louis Guido, an expert in semiconductor materials and optoelectronic physics, joined the ECpE and MSE departments, and Stephane Evoy, a specialist in nano-electromechanical systems will soon join us. We are seeking several more new faculty members to complement our existing efforts.

Much of this is made possible by equipment gifts from Motorola, State funds through the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium for Education and Research (VMEC), and additional funds from Motorola and the Pratt Foundation. We are also seeking additional facility and operations funds from other sources.

We are building on a very solid base. Virginia Tech already has in place more than $10 million in processing and materials characterization equipment and a very strong reputation built by our 14 faculty members who work in a broad range of areas. Their collaborative spirit energizes this new effort.

In addition, friends and alumni in industry are very supportive of the microelectronics program and have formed an advisory board to help guide and assist our efforts. Bob Hendricks and Rick Claus, who both hold joint appointments with ECpE and MSE have spearheaded the microelectronics task force.

We look forward to the new opportunities that we will be able to provide for our students, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the field of microelectronics.

Leonard Ferrari
Department Head

The Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech

Last Updated, October 15, 1999
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